Japanese Knotweed is known as one of the World’s worst invasive species, and it can seriously damage buildings and construction sites if left undetected. It is originally from Japan (obviously) and came to Britain in the late 1840’s by a Dutch doctor called Phillipe von Siebold who started to sell Japanese Knotweed to botanical gardens and to high society figures as in those days it was classed as being ‘ornamental’. Then, by 1869, it became available for public sale because farmers started to use it as feed for their animals. A few years passed until people started realizing that ACTUALLY Japanese Knotweed was a bad thing because it had started to grow in the wild. The 1930’s came and the rise of Japanese Knotweed was starting to reduce house prices, with East Cornwall’s dropping by £100.
In 1981, the Wildlife and Country Act made it an offence to introduce Japanese Knotweed into wild spaces & fast forward a few years, in 2011 Aphids were released in Swansea to try and combat the plant, with no luck. Removing the plant altogether would have a hefty price tag, £1.5 billion to be exact. We understand that the plant cannot be dug out of the ground, as it’s so difficult to eliminate all of the roots effectively. If less than a grass of its roots is missed in the process, it will rapidly regrow. You can spray, or inject, herbicides into its stem, but this takes six months, so you’ll have to be patient and rich, too – this can cost £1,500 for just a small patch of the weed.
The reason why everyone hates it so much is because it has really a wide-ranging root system, which can extend up to 3m in depth and 7m in all directions. These can pose a serious threat to construction works and have devastating consequences to building foundations and drains.
Yes it does grow quickly, at a rate of more than a yard per week. The damage caused by its roots and stems costs the economy around £166 million every year in weed control and property devaluation.
If you are found to be failing to stop the spread of the plant, you can be issued with an Antisocial Behaviour Order – yes, an ASBO. Under these orders, you could be fined up to £2,500.
Thank-you to the Telegraph for this wonderful information.
Tony was our Senior Field technician and had been with GRM for almost 20 years. Although Tony was starting to spend more time in the office, he was never happier than when he was out in the field getting his hands dirty, be it gas monitoring, window sampling or soakaway testing.
His work hard attitude continued outside of work too and was the go to man if any help was needed such as painting, tiling, laying patios and he even turned his hand to building pizza ovens and aviaries. Tony could always be relied on if you needed a helping hand and regularly supported charities such as Rainbows and Breast Cancer Awareness.
When he was not working, Tony enjoyed playing bowls, pool and darts for pub teams in the Burton area. He also actively played badminton, regularly putting the younger members of GRM to shame.
Tony also enjoyed trips out with the GRM cyclists, firstly pedalling along and then supporting trips to Scotland, Paris, the D Day beaches and St Mon Michel. He was always a welcome sight on the rides, particularly when he appeared with a tray full of pastries.
Tony will be sorely missed by all at GRM and our thoughts are with his family at this sad time. Tony’s funeral is being held at 3pm at Bretby Crematorium on the 8th January 2018. As a result GRM’s office will be closed from 2pm on the 8th.
The event, attended by the Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, was to mark the start of work on a £53million Build to Rent (BTR) development.
GRM were invited as the geo-environmental engineer for the project, which will be run by Spitfire Urbane and built by Winvic.
The site, which had historical uses including a saw mill, an aluminium foundry and a silver and electro-plating works was also the site of the former Birmingham Museum of Science and Industry. More recently, the site has been used as car park.
There were a number of interesting challenges on the site, which included investigation of the footings for the 1838 built and listed Whitmore Warehouse, which is to be retained and refurbished as part of the development, the investigation of an infilled canal arm and deep service tunnels, which required detailed negotiation with stakeholders to ensure that the tunnels would not be compromised by the development.
GRM employees Emma Bartram, Mandy and Beverly Bryant and Sandra Dinsdale have signed up for the Jingle Jog at 11am on Sunday 3rd December 2017.
On the 11th April 2008, GRM relocated its head office west by 6 miles from Bretby Business Park, Bretby to Stellux House, Burton on Trent. The building offered 10,000 square feet (sqft) of mixed office and warehouse space over two floors and included a full height (2 storey) loading bay and storage area.
In September, GRM received a request for donations from Sylvia Blackshaw, Joint Chair of the PTFA at Rykneld Primary School , for their Christmas Fair.
Here at GRM, we are aware of the importance of our social responsibilities and so we were delighted to be able to help the school, which can be seen from our Head Office in Burton upon Trent, with their fundraising efforts.
In late June, GRM geologists Dr Tim Rogers (a former PPL holder and experienced photographer) and Alistair Walker (a current glider pilot) attended a training course run by Flyby Technology (Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approved assessors) in Essex to learn how to fly un-manned aerial vehicles (UAVs or “drones”) safely and legally for commercial operations.
The training started with two days in the classroom covering subjects like air law, meteorology, navigation, operational planning and pilot skills, followed by an exam, which both Tim and Alistair passed with flying colours. Days 3 and 4 were outside learning to fly the drones in a professional, safe and legal manner; to add to the challenge in got a bit windy. Day 5 was the flight test which took place on an active airfield with vintage aircraft (Tiger Moths and Harvards, for those interested) flying around, together with the local birds of prey taking a close interest in the drones. Tim and Alistair both passed the test.
With the course completed our Operations Manual and other paperwork have been submitted to the CAA with our application for a Permission for Commercial Operation (PfCO).
Once GRM receives its PfCO we will be offering a wide range of services ranging from aerial photography and videos, to aerial mapping (producing detailed photomosaics and preliminary topographic surveys) and inspections of roofs, chimneys, flare stacks and other hard to get places.
Sisters GRiM - Solstice Walk, 17 Jun 2017
The Sisters would like to say a HUGE thank you to all those that donated and could not have done this without your support. Another big thank you goes to TAG Sports and Promotional Clothing for creating the t-shirts for the event and to GRM for paying the administration fee.
In total the Sisters GRiM Solstice Walk raised £1856 for St Giles Hospice, which was rounded up to £2000 by GRM. The sisters smashed their target by 200%
For donations, please click here > https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/GRM-Sisters-GRiM
St Giles Hospice provides high-quality care for local people living with cancer & other serious illnesses & support for their families & helpers. Free of charge care is offered in Sutton Coldfield, Walsall, Whittington, between Lichfield and Tamworth & in patients’ own homes across the region.
GRM recently investigated a site located in Moira, Leicestershire on which our Client proposed to construct residential properties. Historically, the site was previously a bus maintenance and storage depot, and contamination commensurate with this land use was anticipated to be present.
In addition, to allow for the bus depot to be constructed, part of the site had been filled with largely uncontrolled waste to form a suitable development platform and so it was considered likely that other contamination, such as asbestos, could be present. Ultimately, the ground investigation confirmed a general absence of significant contamination, with the exception of an area hydrocarbon contamination associated with former fuel tanks and supply lines.
GRM worked with a local remediation specialist to design a
bio-remediation treatment programme that would allow the hydrocarbon impacted
soils to be excavated, treated and re-used on site. The strategy was successful
in its aims and resulted in the cost of the development being reduced
Everyone at GRM would like to wish Alex and Joanna Robins a happy and prosperous future following their recent wedding.
Alex (a Geologist with GRM) and Joanna Robins, however, started their marriage in an unusual way by foregoing a traditional honeymoon in favour of walking the 160 miles from their wedding reception in Stroud (Gloucestershire) to their home near Derby, a journey which took them 10 days to complete.
The walk was a fundraising drive in aid of Rutland Memorial Hospital and the mental health charity - Heads Together Campaign.
Alex and Joanna’s exploits have helped to raise over £1800 so far and have even brought them regional recognition in the local press http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/derbyshire-couple-ditch-honeymoon-for-160-mile-charity-walk-from-wedding/story-30368556-detail/story.html .
If you would like to donate to two wonderful causes, then please visit their JustGiving page .
As GRM grows we require more personnel to provide the quality service that we pride ourselves on.
Over the past year we have added an additional 10 new team members and have continued our tradition of employing new graduates straight from university.
Our new starters are:
THOMAS ‘TOM’ ROBSON — Field Technician
ALISTAIR WALKER — Assistant Geo-Environmental Engineer
LOUISA BINDI — Assistant Geo-Environmental Engineer
SONIA SINGH — Assistant Geo-Environmental Engineer
Both Louisa and Sonia have been given permanent contracts after completing a 6 month paid internship arranged through the University of Leicester
JAMES LAWRENCE - Senior Geotechnical Engineer
EDWARD 'ED' NETTLESHIP — Trainee CAD Technician
WAYNE BARRY — Field Technician
MAX WOODING — QA Co-Ordinator
RYAN BOLTON — Assistant Geo-Environmental Engineer
FAY CHAPPEL — Assistant Geo-Environmental Engineer